Readers' Submissions

The Colour Of The Key

  • Written by SD
  • May 19th, 2004
  • 5 min read


I just wonder if anyone else has came across the same problem.

Years ago I loved and lived in Thailand, I returned on holiday recently with my Filipino girlfriend and had a fantastic time visiting Chiang Mai. Part of our itenerary took us to Bangkok for the last 4 nights, so we could take in the floating market, temples etc.

In Bangkok we stayed at a 4 star hotel that I can not remember being there before near Soi 4, almost directly across the road from the Landmark. We had pre-booked the hotel while in the Philippines under my GF's name using her credit card.

The day we checked in we were given a swipe card type key to the room. We got settled in had some rest then I took her out to show her some of my old haunts. (I am pleased to say that some were still there). Came in about 2 in the morning and was asked to show my key to the security guy before we headed to the room. No probs.

The next day after visiting the local attractions, we returned to the hotel to find that we had lost the key. So we got a replacement from the reception. Had some rest then went out again on the town.

Came back around 2 in the morning, asked to show the key again before we went to the room. This time there was a complete change in attitude, we were ushered by the security guard and 3 other hotel workers to the front desk. At the front desk I was told by the receptionist I could not take the lady to the room, I asked "why" to which he totally pissed me off by looking away from me and started talking to my "girlfriend" in Thai. She just looked at me in amazement. I said to him talk to me, not her. He started talking to her again in Thai, the next thing the security guard came over, grabbed her by the arm, started shouting and began to lead her from the hotel. I explained that she did not have a clue what the fuck he was talking about as she was a Filipino.

I asked the receptionist to get the manager. The duty manager came down, I explained what had happened, he turned away from me and started speaking to the Thai receptionist, then said the same thing. "Lady can not go to the room".

I explained that if anyone could not go to the room then it should be me, as the room is booked in her name. He decided that he either he did not believe me or did not understand. The girl behind the reception explained to us that it was because of the colour of the key. If it was one colour it meant that you are allowed to take the girl to the room, if not you had to pay extra at reception. At this point I noticed the manager reading a kind of register behind reception, I asked to look at it, he did not explain what was written next to my room number, but just continued to insist that "if I would like the lady to stay, I must pay extra." I asked why we were allowed to stay the night before without hassle, he replied "it must have been a mistake by the security guard".

I told my GF to wait in reception, went up to my room got my bags, and checked out.

The next day we returned to the hotel, and asked to speak to the Manager. I also noticed the girl that had checked us in at the reception. So I asked her why my GF would have to pay extra, if she stayed with me. She insisted that this was not the case, I should not have been stopped by security as she had given me the correct colour key. I explained that I had lost the key and had been given a different key the day before. Then the Manager said 'Oh that is the problem then, you had been given the wrong colour key', 'Don't worry I will speak to the receptionist". I asked him to translate what it had said in the register next to my room number, He said "yes it is even written here, lady is allowed to go to the room".

A number of things have stuck in my mind.

1. The twat the night before knew that it had said 'lady is allowed to go to room', in the register. But did not want to lose face because, he had already insisted in front of everyone else that she couldn't.

2. The way they humiliated my GF. (I would not expect this kind of humiliation to happen to anyone whether they are a bargirl or not).

3. Why did it say, lady is allowed to go to the room, and not man is allowed to go to the room, in the register, considering it was not me that paid for the accommodation.

4. When anyone visits this hotel, even if both partners are farangs, you are secretly colour coded. If I had turned up at the hotel alone, and never took a girl to my room, I would never have been made aware that I had paid the price that allows someone to take their GF to the room or not. (I did not see these two different prices quoted in the hotel brochure)

5. Where would Thai men be if it was not for their women.

6. I was never given an apology from the hotel.

So next time anyone checks into a hotel make sure you enquire as to what the cost is if you do not want to take a lady to the room.

Stickman says:

It's a shame you did not name the hotel. They are kidding themselves that they are 4 star if this is how they handle such situations. 4 star rooms perhaps, but no star service.